Art Nouveau, meaning "New Art" in French, is defined as a design style of the late 19th century and early 20th century characterised especially by sinuous lines and natural forms. Art Nouveau can be found in the design, style or architecture of buildings as well as in paintings, sculptures, pottery and many other art forms. Ernest Chaplet, Auguste Delaherche, Émile Decoeur and Adrien Dalpayrat exemplify French Art Nouveau ceramic artists.
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Adrien Dalpayrat moved to Paris in 1899 and began a career making stoneware. Dalpayrat was known for oxblood flambé pottery. The term "Dalpayrat red" was coined to describe his distinctive glaze. He debuted this glaze in 1892 at Galerie Georges Petit in Paris. He used the nude female form frequently, as did his contemporaries. However, unlike others, Dalpayrat often used the form of a half-devoured animal heart. Along with statues and sculptures, he also created vases and other vessels.
In 1890, Émile Decoeur worked as an apprentice to Edmond Lachenal as he began his career in ceramics. By 1902, Decoeur was exhibiting under his own name, although he had no formal art training, aside from his apprenticeship with Lachenal. Decoeur is recognised as one of the masters of the French ceramics revolution. His work displays use of rich flambé glazes and deep, intense colours. Later in his career, Decoeur moved away from the Art Nouveau style.
After 30 years of working in large ceramic firms, Ernest Chaplet became France's top studio potter. Chaplet opened an atelier where he produced simple stoneware decorated with Japanese-inspired imagery. Chaplet became known for his sang de boeuf glaze, for which he won a gold medal at the Paris Universal Exposition in 1889. The sang de boeuf, which means blood of cow, colour glaze was highly prized. Chaplet used this glaze on porcelain and stoneware throughout his career.
In 1887, Auguste Delaherche opened a studio in Paris and began working as an independent potter after years of working in industrial art firms. Delaherche was known for working in a solitary environment. Plain, robust shapes inspired by Oriental, Greek or rustic pottery made up the bulk of Delaherche's works. He generally preferred to work with glazes in earth tones. After 1910, Delaherche worked primarily in porcelain.
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- "The Art Nouveau Style in Jewelry, Metalwork, Glass, Ceramics, Textiles, Architecture, and Furniture"; Roberta Waddell; 1977
- Merriam-Webster: Art Nouveau
- Jason Jacques, Inc.: Ernest Chaplet
- Jason Jacques, Inc.: Emile Decoeur
- Jason Jacques, Inc.: Adrien Dalpayrat
- Jason Jacques, Inc.: Auguste Delaherche